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sheffield forges international connections during presidential visit

As President Xi Jinping arrived on his state visit to the UK last week to a Royal welcome, UK businesses and public figures resoundingly backed new trading links between the UK and the Chinese super-economy.

Seven Hills supported the University of Sheffield’s campaign to underline the importance to the UK of building our future’s infrastructure with the help of dynamic investors from China.

Partners in Chinese industry are playing a key role in extending the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centres, two High-Value Manufacturing Catapults supported by Innovate UK. The unbeatable R&D capabilities at these centres is ensuring the UK is prepared to expand and upgrade its manufacturing sector.

Professor Sir Keith Burnett, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sheffield and Chair of Sheffield’s Confucius Institute, was a frequent media commentator throughout the duration of the visit, arguing that China has an important role to play in building a balanced and prosperous UK economy. Media highlights included China Daily, Xinhua News and The Daily Telegraph.

With the President two days into the state visit, University Vice-Chancellor Prof. Sir Keith Burnett spoke on Bloomberg’s Countdown show about the ways in which China and the UK can work together to solve the problems faced by both nations.

The following day, President Xi Jinping’s visit to Manchester emulated Chancellor George Osborne’s visit to the Xinjiang region a month before and highlighted the need for infrastructure and trade deals that will bring prosperity to the whole economy – in this case, the UK’s Northern Powerhouse.

Sir Keith Burnett told Sky News about the significance of this visit and the capabilities that ensure that China’s work in the Northern Powerhouse can benefit the UK, saying: ‘It’s going to take time, but I think building those relationships is a very important goal.’

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